Selling your home—especially if you’ve never done it before—can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging. Strangers will come into your home, sizing it up and critiquing a place that has probably become more than just four walls and a roof to you. And if that’s not difficult enough to watch, chances are they will offer you less money than you think your home is worth.
Whether you’ve done this 10 times or about to embark on your first, selling your home is a complex and somewhat emotional experience, and it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of it all and make lots of mistakes. Luckily for you, Real Estate Caribbean has identified our top three tips to consider when selling your house:
1. Have the right realtor on your side: A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong realtor. Make sure you have partnered with one that is informed and up to date – ie monitoring a multiple listing service (MLS) like Real Estate Caribbean, thus giving you increased exposure to motivated buyers.
2. Looks are (almost) everything: You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling how it looks – that’s how important it is. New fixtures, fresh paint and a cleaned up yard (if applicable) can go a long way, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get most of your money back. It may be a small price to pay to replace an outdated kitchen or remodel the bathrooms; in lieu of a prospective buyer trying to knock a large portion of the asking price due to what they might see is a necessary overhaul.
3. Pricing it right: Sellers often think they should start the asking price high and then lower later if the house fails to sell. Many buyers and their agents will stay away, assuming you’re not serious about selling or you’re unwilling to negotiate.
Whether you’re embarking on your very first home purchase, or you’ve been around the block a few times, having the right realtor is essential to as smooth a process as possible. So how are you expected to find the one for you?
The first thing to do is ask around. Approach family, friends and colleagues for referrals, as knowing someone with actual experience with a realtor will lend credibility and provide reassurance during what can be quite a stressful experience. Secondly, start surfing. Nowadays we shop for nearly everything on the Internet, where pictures, detailed descriptions and positive (or negative) testimonials are just one click away.
Once you have compiled a shortlist, make direct contact: start calling and sending emails to set up an initial meeting. But before you get into the semantics of your budget and their commission, consider asking the below questions to get a better idea of whom you will be potentially working with.
How long have you been working in real estate?
The answer to this isn’t necessarily about a number, as real estate is a commission-based business, and it would be very difficult for a realtor to survive for a long time providing subpar service. Someone who has dealt with a variety of scenarios is less likely to be rattled should any bumps be encountered down the road.
What areas do you cover?
You will likely encounter realtors who are neighbourhood experts and others who will travel halfway across the country to make a sale. It would be ideal with find someone who is a balance of the two, who can work both in and around your main areas of interest.
Are you equipped to handle my unique situation?
Depending on what your goals are: long-term investor, first-time homebuyer, or house flipper – it would be best to find someone that is well acquainted with your specific situation. Don’t be fooled by someone who answers the question with, “Don’t worry, I’ve dealt with this before.”
Happy realtor shopping!